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The Lions Quest Life Skill Programme

The " Lions Quest Life Skills programme " provides a teaching resource for most of the Essential Skills and support the development of the Attitudes and Values set out and indicated in the New Zealand Curriculum Framework.

The Lions Quest Life Skills programmes link with Essential Learning Areas and fit readily with the Health and Physical Education Curriculum,  There is also a very close link with the Social Studies and Language Curriculum’s.

The programmes provide the strategies, techniques and activities to enable safe and supportive environments to be developed and maintained for all learners.

The particular resources that relate to specific health issues are in line with the National Drug Policy which is based on minimizing harm caused by drugs and alcohol for both individuals and the community. (National Drug Policy).

The Lions Quest Life Skills programmes also complement a number of other resources including,

  • Cool Schools Peer Mediation Programmes,
  • Life Education,
  • Reaching Out and Reaching Forward,
  • The D.A.R.E programme,
  • Keeping Ourselves Safe,
  • Kia Kaha,
  • a range of Anger Management and Conflict resolution resources as well as fitting alongside an Assertive Discipline programme.

Model for Curriculum Delivery  (The “Skills” programmes/resources may be used at any level)


Core Values  - Skills for Growing/Skills for Adolescence

Attitudes and Beliefs

The Essential Skills

  • Communication Skills
  • Numeracy Skills
  • Information Skills
  • Problem Solving Skills  - Skills for Growing/Skills for Adolescence
  • Self-Management & Competitive Skills
  • Social & Cooperative Skills
  • Physical Skills
  • Work & Study Skills

The Essential Learning Areas

Language and Languages



Technology - Skills for Growing/Skills for Adolescence

  • Social Sciences
  • The Arts
  • Health& Physical Education

Classroom Programmes - Skills for Growing/Skills for Adolescence


Lions Quest Life Skills programmes – Effectiveness recognized by Research

Researchers, Maurice J. Elias, Peter Gager, and Staci Leon, at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey examined a wide range of relevant information to establish eleven categories of key programme elements that could be used to evaluate substance abuse programmes. Published in Principals Magazine March 1997

Key Elements of Prevention Programmes

Planning and design, including identification of short and long term goals for students.

Timing, including continuity over years and class levels.

Social factors, including cultural sensitivity

School policy, including school-initiated activities and disciplinary policies consistent with the programme.

Staff training, including ongoing training and in-school support

Implementation, including use of up to date and engaging materials

Family and community involvement, including use of home work activities

Individualised curriculum, including adapting for appropriate year/class levels and community characteristics.

Instructional features, including skill building and active participation.

Support Services, including tutoring and guidance

Evaluation guidelines, including specific indicators of positive and negative classroom behaviours.

Researchers then examined a number of the most widely used and/or research validated programmes to determine the presence or absence of these elements.

The programme with the greatest number of key elements was the

Lions Quest Life Skills programme which covered all 11 

2002/2003 NZ Research by Larry Forbes – Education Consultant

Summary Statement:

 The analysis of the data and feedback relating to the effectiveness of the Lions Quest Life Skills programmes leads me to offer the following summary statements:

There is extremely positive and wide support for the programmes from all “customers’ i.e. teachers in schools, adults working with young people outside the school system.

Teachers consistently acknowledged that, as a result of their training and use of the programme they:

  • Experienced person professional growth
  • Felt more confident about management strategies/techniques
  • Related more positively with their students and students across the school
  • Felt their teaching strategies were affirmed
  • Found the teaching materials very useful
  • Felt the programmes had a positive impact.

Teachers consistently acknowledged that, as a result of using the program

  • Display more confidence
  • Cooperate more positively
  • Manage peer pressure more positively
  • Take more responsibility for their own behaviour
  • Are better able to make appropriate, independent decisions
  • Are more aware of the potential dangers of drugs and alcohol
  • Are more understanding of other people’s views
  • Have developed enhanced problems solving skills

Principals and staff consistently acknowledge that, as a result of using the programmes, their schools are places where:

  • Students relationships are more positive.
  • Staff relationships are more positive
  • Staff/Students relationships are more positive
  • An improved school climate/culture has developed

Lions Quest Life Skills trainers are high quality people delivering high quality material.

Refinements of the programmes can be based on further enhancement of strengths rather than any actual or perceived need to deal with weaknesses.  Refinements aimed at enhancement should have funding allocated to target:

a).  Training options

b).  Increased New Zealand content/culture in written material

c).   More post-training follow-up for schools

d).   Regular revitalization of the programmes to ensure they reflect the social and cultural changes occurring in society.

The programmes are fundamentally very sound, particularly for the school setting but there is significant scope for developing materials to be used with parents, families/whanau.  I recommend setting up workshop opportunities to undertake this utilizing the skills of selected Skills trained teachers, Skills trainers and Lions Club representatives.   

Allocate funding to targeted areas:

  • Workshops to revamp programme material regarding New Zealand content/culture
  • Follow-up visits to schools
  • Programme materials, particularly for use with parents, families/whanau.  
  • Marketing opportunites – identification, programme planning and delivery.

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